June 17, 2019 Subject:
Harker Good, SIm...A Bit Over the Top
This is my first Inspector Hornleigh (Gordon Harker) movie - and I enjoyed it except for the over-the-top silliness of Alastair Sim's performance as Hornleigh's Assistant, Sgt. Bingjam - I found him hard to take. It was typical of many 1930s-40s mystery and horror films, British and American, to include often nonsensical and unneeded comic relief - here it is provided by a clownish Sim. Otherwise, this would have been a tight little murder mystery as Harker is very good, as is the rest of the cast. The script's good and bad points might be attributed to the presence of Sidney Gilliatt and Frank Launder, later responsible for the St. Trinian's films, where they added a little mystery to the comedy, to much better effect Nevertheless, if you can stand or like Sim, the film is good fun on a rainy afternoon.